One Texas woman finally got the $300,000 that Bank of America owed her. And it only took four years.
The Southeast Texas Record has the whole sad story, but here's the gist: Trudie Crutchfield of Beaumont, Texas, sued BofA in 2008 after the bank foreclosed on her hurricane-wrecked house. That natural disaster forced Crutchfield to miss a few mortgage payments, which Countrywide, her loan servicer, said was fine. Then the lender reversed itself, sending a letter saying she owed all that money right away (h/t Consumerist).
Crutchfield sued then, and two years later sued BofA when the bank took over her loan from Countrywide and foreclosed on her house, according to Consumerist. Both suits were successful, and Crutchfield won a settlement from BofA. But she had to go to court a third time, this year, in order for a judge to finally force BofA to pay her the $300,000 it owed.
It's hard to say whether this is the most ridiculous thing Bank of America has ever done to a homeowner. This is the bank, after all, that illegally foreclosed on more than 100 active members of the military, declared a living man dead for three years, sent contractors to change the locks on a property that wasn't in default -- causing considerable distress to one unlucky parrot -- and sold customers' houses out from under them in the middle of the loan modification process.
Bank of America's hardly alone in having problems with processing mortgage paperwork. During the housing bubble and subsequent crash an epidemic of so-called robo-signing left an untold number of borrowers hamstrung by foreclosures that probably shouldn't have happened.
According to critics, the cure hasn't been much better than the disease. A $25 billion settlement reached in February by some of the nation's largest lenders over shoddy mortgage practices has had dubious impact thus far, as HuffPost's Ben Hallman has noted.